Monday, June 15, 2009

FAS and FAZ: A Short Seller's Dream?

In an early April post "Direxion 3x Financial ETFs Go Certifiably Crazy (FAS; FAZ etc.)" I wrote:
...One approach is to short both of them, in effect writing an option. Ooops, have I said too much?
That thought was repeated a few days later in "When Leverage and Volatility Collide in ETFs (FAS, FAZ)"

Today Bespoke Investment Group says:
Since mid-November, the triple long financial ETF (FAS) is down 71% to $10.38, while the triple short financial ETF (FAZ) is down 95% to $4.43. Over the same time period, the financial index that the ETFs track is up 7%! Go figure. The triple leveraged ETFs track the daily return of the indices they follow, and their prospectuses do not suggest using them as long-term investments even if you think a sector or index will go up or down. Some people have seemingly figured out how to make money off of these triple ETFs, however. Go short both the triple long and triple short ETF, as they both drift towards zero in volatile markets....MORE, including charts.